Friday, September 02, 2005

A Short Jerusalem Taxi Story



Got to get ready for Shabbat – but one quick story to blog about before I go. This morning I woke up late – just after 8 which meant I missed the local 8 O’Clock minyan. So I decided to go to the Kotel to daven – I like going there anyway on any Friday I can. As I get the Derech Chevron, the main street where the buses run I see my bus wiz by which usually means at least a 20 minute wait.

But then something amazing happened. A taxi who saw that I just missed the bus pulled up to the bus stop and starts honking. I wave him off – I have a “Chodshi Chofshi” (a monthly pass) for the bus after all why would I take a cab?

“Lo, Ze Chenam! Bli Kessef! – [No, it’s free, no money!]” he calls to me.

“Free?” I say – “Why?”

“It’s a chessed [kind deed]! I’m going this way anyway to drop off the taxi somewhere so I might as well take you.”

“Nice!”

Bear in mind, we had this entire discussion in Hebrew. And we continued to talk about where I’m from and how there is no kedusha in America and about what is happening in New Orleans being “Mida Kinegged Mida” [measure for measure] punishment for the US Government supporting the uprooting of Jewish communities in Gush Katif. “I will curse those that curse you!” If Gush Katif is to be uprooted those that supported it will be uprooted a hundred-fold. (President Bush’s Christian supporters should make him aware of this – and conversely if America blesses Israel by supporting expanding Jewish Communities instead of destroying them we will see America greatly prosper!)

So I was impressed that for the first time in my life I was able to keep up a conversation in Hebrew with a taxi driver. And I was even more impressed that your typical taxi driver in Yerushalayim (he wasn’t wearing a kippa if you were wondering) was talking about chessed and kudusha. And then he asked me to have him in mind when I daven at the Kotel. I did.

Now my question to the reader: Did a NYC cabbie, ever, in the history of New York, offer anyone a FREE lift?

What a country! So many holy Jews here.

4 Comments:

Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Wow. Thanks. I once had a cab driver try to set me up. Another told me an excellent dvar torah (that Breishit stands for - Bitchila Ra'ah Elokim SheYisrael Yekablu Torah) and another tell me that he was taught once by a rabbi/passenger that all your earnings are set on Rosh haShana, so he never rips anyone off because he knows it'll all even out in the end anyway and that if he overcharges then that money will go to sudden medical fees or the like.

11:35 AM  
Blogger muse said...

Wonderful "only in Israel story" maybe we should do a monthly "only in Israel" carnival.

4:09 AM  
Blogger yitz.. said...

my sister in law once was trying to hail a cab in nyc, one of those limo lincoln continental-looking cars stopped in front of her..she was in a rush so she figured why not, she got in to the back and there was a stack of paper on the seat beside her, she thought it was rude of the driver to leave his stuff back there.. she told him she was going to port authority, when he dropped her off she realised he wasn't a limo driver he was just come guy driving a continental.. who apparently offered her a lift.. strange story.. does that count as a cabby offering someone a free ride?

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So pinchas did you give the guy a tip?

10:01 AM  

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